Congratulations to Emily Laubscher who successfully defended her Qualifying Examination!
The purpose of the Qualifying Examination is to evaluate the student’s performance throughout the first year of doctoral study. The Qualifying Examination has two components: a written paper and an oral defense. Once a student passes the Qualifying Examination, he/she is formally accepted as a doctoral candidate.
Emily did a wonderful job with her written paper and oral defense. Her project was two-fold, first addressing the challenges of vocabulary development in beginning communicators with complex communication needs who require AAC and then considering the appropriateness of a “core word” vocabulary approach. Emily did an outstanding job laying out the challenges associated with a core word approach. She additionally provided a road map for more effective, theoretically sound practice to foster language development in children with complex communication needs including a) strategies for identifying and providing vocabulary that pertains to the learner’s interests and needs “in the moment” and b) strategies for ensuring that a broad range of age-appropriate words are available in order to children to support broad-based vocabulary growth and generation of early word combinations.